U.K. pair challenges earlier finding that substandard PIP breast implants were safe

A top U.K. health regulator's report last year concluding Poly Implant Prothèse's (PIP) substandard breast implants didn't pose long-term health risks to women who had them, even if they ruptured more easily, likely caused some to breathe a sigh of relief. But two leading scientists are now questioning the finding.

The Guardian reports that two activist researchers are sounding the alarm, namely Andre Menache, director of the consumer group Antidote Europe and Dr. Victoria Martindale, an environmental campaigner. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) said it agreed with the pair and the removed, ruptured implants should be tested.

The pair's biggest concern: a chemical in the silicone that disrupts endocrine levels. In an opinion piece published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, they suggested that the chemical could harm the fetuses of pregnant women who still have the implants. BAAPS president Rajiv Grover told The Guardian that it agreed that the chemical effects of the implants are unknown and that the PIP implants all should be removed as a precaution. 

PIP is now defunct and its former CEO and other execs are on trial in France for fraud. The scandal and scare over the faulty implants has led to a major push to strengthen the European Union's regulatory system for devices.

And in the U.K., more than 47,000 British women had the PIP implants. The initial report, released by a leading official with Britain's National Health Service, outlined its conclusion, in part, based on the study of 240,000 implants in England produced by various companies.

- read The Guardian story